- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 5, 2008

MINNEAPOLIS | Joe Mauer homered and drove in three runs, helping Boof Bonser get a win out of the bullpen and leading the Minnesota Twins past the Baltimore Orioles 7-5 last night.

Mauer went deep for the first time this season against the New York Yankees on Monday. Stepping out with the same uppercut swing against Jamie Walker in the seventh inning, Mauer put one in the upper deck, above and just to the left of the foul pole, to give Minnesota a two-run lead.

In the fifth, Mauer drove in two runs with one sacrifice fly - the first such feat in the majors in more than seven years - to bring his team within one.

With runners at second and third and one out, Mauer sent a drive to the warning track that center fielder Adam Jones tracked down in the gap. Jones slipped as he tried to throw, however, and Carlos Gomez kept racing around the bases to score easily.

The Twins trailed 5-2 against Daniel Cabrera (5-2) but handed him his first loss in six starts when Jason Kubel’s triple tied it in the sixth and Delmon Young’s sacrifice fly put them in front.

Cabrera, last season’s league leader in earned runs, walks and losses, didn’t walk anyone. He gave up eight hits and hit two batters, striking out three in six innings.

Glen Perkins again went only four innings for Minnesota, allowing nine hits, five runs - four earned - and two walks. But Bonser (3-6), in his first appearance since being pushed to the bullpen, threw 2 2/3 scoreless innings.

All the relievers were sharp. Dennys Reyes and Matt Guerrier retired everyone they faced, and Joe Nathan worked a perfect ninth for his 16th save in 17 attempts.

Melvin Mora and Kevin Miller hit consecutive homers against Perkins in the first. Brian Roberts drove in a run with a single in the second and another with a double in the fourth.

Notes - The last two-run sacrifice fly in the majors was hit by Cincinnati’s Alex Ochoa on May 8, 2001. …

After a decent season debut Tuesday, Radhames Liz will stay in Baltimore’s rotation, and the struggling Steve Trachsel will remain in the bullpen, manager Dave Trembley said. …

Roberts and Markakis pulled off a double steal in the second, though the throw to third by Mauer was quick and on target - just a little late. Mauer has thrown out only eight of 35 attempted base-stealers this year, but manager Ron Gardenhire said slow deliveries to the plate by his pitchers have contributed to the trend.

Orioles left-hander Adam Loewen threw a 27-pitch inning in extended spring training work in Florida, where he will stay and throw a simulated game Saturday. Then he will leave on a rehab assignment to test his left elbow but won’t be back until the end of June. …

This was the third time the Orioles have homered in consecutive at-bats this season, and each instance has included Millar.



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